20140106-211648.jpg Jeff Bullas (@jeffbullas), a well respected social media strategist, believes that one of the top social media trends for 2014 is brands out-publishing traditional publishers.

Social media has given us the power, platforms and world reaching networks to all become publishers. Innovative and creative brands and businesses are realizing that social media and content publishing are synergistic cousins and cohorts. Create multimedia content and share it on social networks and you start global conversations.

Brands such as Red Bull, General Electric and Lorna Jane are becoming media companies and publishers with powerful results. Red Bull even has its own media company with nearly 150 employees. The humble blog is leaving its training wheels in the shed. Content is now where it’s at. Mass media is starting to struggle to compete with the amplification and viral velocity of social content driven by the crowd.

Law firms don’t have their own media companies with 150 employees. But some law firms do have hundreds of blogging lawyers. Lawyers learning to take their writing from the level of alerts and email newsletters to insightful blogging.

Blogging on WordPress driven technology platforms empowered by design, consulting, coaching, marketing, and a network from companies like LexBlog.

It’s easy to dismiss independent publisher law firms supported by smaller companies like LexBlog in the face of multi-billion publishers such as Reed-Elsevier’s LexisNexis, Bloomberg BNA, and Thomson Reuters — and even law reviews. But don’t law firms have the edge over time?

  • More content on niche subjects
  • Content immediately indexed on Google
  • Content with RSS feeds so content may be read on RSS readers, including Zite and Flipboard
  • Content may be included in Google News
  • Google Author ID for each lawyer author so as to increase the lawyer’s influence and authority
  • Law firms are more motivated to publish on firm branded blogs versus closed subscription systems
  • Content delivered socially by people others trust, soon to become the leading way we receive information

I don’t expect law firms to out-publish traditional publishers in 2014. But over time it seems inevitable.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Carolynn Primeau.